The Downside of Stillness
We all seem to think that wen we are still we do not maximize efficiency. Our minds our trained to push through moments of stillness so that we can accomplish our tasks successfully. Little so we know that stillness is required for our bodies to be balanced. Without this precious balance our minds slip into a fight or flight reactive state, our nervous system goes into overdrive and ultimately we just can not relax which in turn makes stillness intolerable.
Here is a test to see if you are in need of stillness. The next time you are stuck waiting for your car to get fixed or waiting on your name to be called at the dr office or even next time your stuck at a traffic light; pause, sit completely still and watch the mind. Chances are you will struggle. You mind will reach for something to do; change the radio; pick at your finger nails, play with your phone. Avoid these things for just a moment and notice how it makes you feel. If your mind is craving something external chances are stillness is exactly what you need.
When we come to stillness we allow the mind to process. Instead of grasping the external distractions we look inside. This internal exploration can be scary and uncomfortable at times but it allows us the opportunity to process pent up emotions rather than storing them in our muscle tissues.
Next time your feeling overwhelmed; exhausted; frustrated or just scrambled ask yourself these five questions:
1. When was the last time I took a break from action?
2. What does my mind do when I sit with no distractions?
3. Why do I avoid stillness?
4. What are the things that I use to distract my mind in moments of stillness phone, tv, food?
5. What would happen if I made a commitment to myself to sit in stillness once a day for 5 min.
Answer these questions honestly. Then challenge yourself to sit without distractions. When you feel your mind wondering; trying to accomplish something that is completely impossible in the moment( you know you can not do your taxes while your waiting at a traffic light) redirect the mind back into the body and allow your self to feel something physical. Most people use the breath as a tool. For some that just doesn’t work, you can also look to feel warmth on the skin, focus on feeling the heartbeat or just simply you could focus on one positive mantra like : I am present. Remember that this is a practice. Find tiny moments within your day to check in. Maybe you start with on minute , each time your mind wonders bring it back to the breath or mantra or whatever tool works for you. Over time you my be able to appreciate more time in stillness.
The more opportunities you give yourself to find stillness outside of a sleep state the better. You will notice the longer you give yourself to sit the more you are able to Bridge cthe gap between mind and body. Ultimately being able to process emotions that linger, it also allows you the ability to defuse from overactive emotions in stressful situations.
Do yourself a favor. Defuse the nervous system. Choose to check in and take a break. Choose stillness.
Benefits of stillness:
1. Lower resting hr
2. Calm the mind
4. Release stress and anxiety
5. Learn to release tension
6. Relax the body
7. Sleep better
8. Decrease fatigue
9. Build mind and body awareness
10.increase balance and focus
So what’s the downside of stillness? The jury is still out on this one.